Over the last 18 months, we have all struggled feeling as happy and secure in ourselves. So how do we build back the confidence we have lost?

1. Address The Inner Critic Within Yourself

It can be easy to rebuild self-confidence when other people are to blame for the breakdown; yet, it can be more difficult when the criticisms come from within. It can be difficult when dealing with a hyperactive inner critic who undermines your choices, wants and desires at every step. Until you learn to accept and trust in the decisions you make, you may settle for less than you deserve. So stop asking yourself ‘why would I get picked for this opportunity?” and start asking “why wouldn’t I?”, and start acknowledging your strengths.

2. Indulge In Activities You Enjoy

To nurture your self-belief, you need to nurture your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Exercise is not only beneficial to the body, but also the mind; this doesn’t mean going to the gym every day, but trying to spend time outside. Going on 20 minute walks every day has been shown to have a positive long term influence on mental health, making it easier to support yourself and believe in your choices.

3. Try Not To Compare Your Progress And Choices To Others

You are your own person, and the choices you make for yourself should benefit you and you alone. I am a sixth form student at the minute and made the decision to not apply to Oxbridge; I made this decision for myself and by myself because I knew it would be best for my mental health. The biggest obstacle in making this decision was coming to terms with other peoples opinions on it, and finally realising that only mine mattered.

4. Take Time For Yourself

Many of us find very little time where we aren’t doing something, but it is important to have downtime. Taking a bath, or using a facial mask seem like small actions, but, they can allow us to recharge. Once you start taking time for yourself, you will notice small lifestyle changes that can benefit your health, which can allow you to feel more confident in yourself.

5. Know Your Goals And Who You Want To Be

If you have even a rough idea of the future you want for yourself, you can rebuild your confidence. If you ask yourself who you want to be if no obstacles were in your way, you can grasp your dreams that were buried under self-doubt. Bringing these doubts to the surface can give you goals, hopes and dreams which can help you believe in yourself and your ability to achieve what you want.

This article was written by Stemette Society Member, Lily.

Want to discuss this with other young women in STEM? Why not join the Stemette Society to continue the conversation.

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